Domestic violence occurrence in California same-sex couples | The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
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Domestic violence occurrence in California same-sex couples

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Domestic violence is not something most people want to reveal about a relationship, whether in California or anywhere else. Such conflict occurs when one partner uses actual violence or the threat of it to control the other. In addition to the physical, domestic violence can be emotional and even financial.

Most people have probably thought that domestic abuse typically occurs in intimate heterosexual relationships, but it also exists among same-sex couples.

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shed some light on that fact. The report notes that researchers determined that bisexual women in the United States experience the highest levels and frequency of domestic violence. Data revealed that 75 percent of bisexual women and 46 percent of lesbian women had been with violent partners. For men, 47 percent of bisexual men and 40 percent of gay men had experienced domestic abuse.

Many cases of same-sex partner violence are probably unreported, possibly because most people assume that domestic violence only involves heterosexual couples. Victims of same-sex domestic abuse seem to have a harder time getting the help they need. Some victims also fear being judged, which also prevents them from confiding to others about their situations.

One expert called the results of the CDC study disturbing. Fortunately, the Violence Against Women Act, which was reauthorized in early 2013, includes a new section that covers same-sex partners. This amendment may both protect same-sex partners and improve ways to help them recover from domestic violence.

Domestic violence may seem a little different from the usual family law issue in California, but it is an issue that can affect anyone regardless of sexual orientation. An ongoing case of domestic violence may be challenging for a victim, but fortunately family law can provide protection to abuse victims through protective and restraining orders.

Source: The Atlantic, "A same-sex domestic violence epidemic is silent," Maya Shwayder, Nov. 5, 2013

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